California Sen. Barbara Boxer led off her line of questioning with what was arguably one of the most interesting parts of the hearing so far -- a question about how Hillary Clinton would translate her long-standing commitment to international women's issues to substantive action at the State Department. Boxer cited one of Nicholas Kristof's recent columns about sex trafficking in Cambodia (which I'm sure you've read already!) and the apparent increase in acid attacks on women in South Asia, among other problems.
Although much of Hillary Clinton's testimony, and even her answers, have been vetted by the Obama administration -- which doesn't necessarily make for particularly heartfelt speech -- this answer was the first time that she was really speaking from the heart. She, too, is a fan of Kristof's columns and his work in the developing world, and she thinks that there is much that she as the secretary of state and that the Department of State can do to make the world better for people who, as Boxer said, "were born female." Her commitment to and interest in international women's rights isn't just a talking point; it's obviously something about which she feels strongly and on which she clearly plans to work with a great deal of focus and vigor.
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